Woz: Apple ‘somewhat behind’ on phone features

“The iPhone has fallen ‘somewhat behind’ in terms of smartphone features, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak,” Electronista reports.

“The comment emerged during Businessweek’s Best Brand Awards,” Electronista reports. “‘I am proud that we have such loyal fans,’ he said. ‘But this loyalty is not given, the need to have the best products is always there. Currently we are in my opinion somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business. Others have caught up…'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Caught up” is a bit too strong. There are plenty of important areas where competitors have not “caught up” to Apple. Build quality, for one. Ecosystem (third-party accessories, vehicle-integration, etc.), for another. App quality and quantity, for a third. Or, how about security, where, based on their choice of business models, certain wannabes have no hope of ever catching up.

Overall, though, Woz is right to keep pushing and prodding Apple along. Apple’s other notable co-founder did the same thing every day.

It would be nice if Woz didn’t feel compelled to do it in public (which gives aid and comfort to rivals, not the least of which is a convicted thief of Apple’s IP), but perhaps Apple doesn’t afford him the opportunity to give his feedback in private. If so, and if they don’t like constantly hearing these critiques from a co-founder in public, maybe they should give him the opportunity to contribute his ideas to Apple directly.

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54 Comments

    1. MDN is spot off. As if woz has a current valid opinion on what would make apple products better. Has he put out any revolutionary products in 25 years? He plays with products and embraces every crappy product google puts out. Steve jobs admitted he turned down many great ideas. Apple is not about everything. Just about doing certain things “insanely” great

      1. @ the other Mike: I disagree with your assessment. Woz provides a valuable service by speaking the truth in public. Such a shame his lead is not followed by more others.

        As for “catching up”. That’s not something that can always be objectively measured. But i certainly don’t put Apple build quality on an incomparable pedestal. No doubt, Apple ranks above the rest, but not at the top everywhere. Apple picks narrow markets and attempts to offer the best long-term value. Other companies dominate high-end segments too. Example: Panasonic Toughbook. Eizo displays. Aftermarket headphone makers too many to list … Apple never was in the lead, and they have no interest in competing there. And that’s fine.

        In the highly competitive phone & tablet marketplaces, Apple’s unit market share is eroding. And while it’s not a number that anyone should obsess over, it is a long term trend that must not go unchecked. The time to respond to Samsung was 2 years ago, and instead Cook & Co. have been rolling out predictable and uninspired incremental updates to its iOS devices. Woz is correct in pointing out that the copycats have caught up in many areas — because they have.

        One way Apple might get out of its funk is to pull more manufacturing in-house instead of leeching its IP to untrustworthy sub-suppliers. I’m getting sick of seeing pics of cheap Chinese iPhone accessories months before anyone in Cupertino announces the next model. And if you really want to please customers in North America, offer a much more basic iPhone unlocked & unsubsidized with a simple all inclusive pay-as-you-go plan. You already have iTunes for billing, use your cash horde to negotiate cheapest network coverage at any given second for any given user. On such an Apple cell network, it would be like having the best of all network strengths without the 2-year raping commitment. THAT would be revolutionary, much more so that some vaporware TV.

  1. Yes Woz is better heard in private as his native geek tendencies can be misunderstood and sometimes overlook certain balancing factors as MDN has noted. But Woz is not nor ever will be Steve Jobs despite being a co-founder. That says Apple must certainly know and is in the process to restart their iOS engines to the dismay of the competition. There is always going to be leap-frogging and most of us are patient enough for Apple’s take.

  2. Oh no, don’t say anything “bad” about Apple! And, Woz, don’t you know that “build quality” is a feature? If you really MUST say something “wrong” about Apple, don’t do it in public, just whisper it to yourself inside your home. Ok?

  3. I am sick and tired of people bad mouthing Wozzie in many threads in MDN, give the guy some respect.

    To be honest I wish Apple would offer Woz a more *significant* role in the post-Steve era, maybe some sort of a “Apple goodwill ambassador”.. a face to the general public to remind everybody what Apple is all about.

    1. @WozzieFan: “I wish Apple would offer Woz a more *significant* role in the post-Steve era, maybe some sort of a ‘Apple goodwill ambassador.'”

      Perfect! A goodwill ambassador that goes around loudly proclaiming his imagined shortcomings of his employer to all the world. Great idea, WozzieFan!

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